Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Showering Ceremony for the Newly Titled “Samdech” Buddhist Monks [Unofficial Translation]


Pleased to See Progress in Religion

My wife and I are so happy to be able to join with all of you to declare new titles of “Samdech” bestowed upon by HM the King, and to celebrate water showering for the three revered Buddhist monks – Samdech Preah Udom Muni Chea Sam Ang, Samdech Preah Puthichey Muni Khim San, and Samdech Preah Sakjyamuni Roth Saroeun. I take this as a progress in religion and am happy to see progress in religion in the Kingdom of Cambodia, where Buddhism is the religion of the state […]

Secular World in Wrong Track, Buddhism and Other Religions in Limbo

I have said on numerous occasions that secular and Buddhism/religious worlds are two complementary wheels, one is dysfunctional without the other. Whereas secular world fell into a wrong track, the other one will be in a difficult situation, Buddhism or other religions alike. We have seen that happened in the past, when our country was in war. Religions – Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, etc. suffered destructions under bombings and fighting. More so, under the regime of genocide of Pol Pot, every religions suffered same ill fates […] from 1979 to the present, the Cambodian People’s Party has done a great job in making contribution to progress in religions in general, and in Buddhism, in particular […]

From Only One Buddhist Monk before 2 December 1978 to Roughly 60,000 Now

… I have said it on various occasions that we started with only one Buddhist monk left before 2 December 1978, when we declared the establishment of the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea. With one Buddhist monk, we have been able to make more monks. In the present time, we have over 4,000 Buddhist pagodas with roughly 60,000 monks. It is a big number. Should the Cambodian People’s Party neglect care and fostering Buddhism, one can ask, would there be this much of progress of Buddhism? […]

Buddhism and Religions Contribute to State’s National Management

In the context of relations between secular world and Buddhism/religions, I can say that Buddhism has contributed to the state its share of social and national management. Religious teaching in general, those of Buddhism in particular, guide people to perform merits. With people’s good actions, the state can do a better job in its social order and security. If a majority of people commits sin in their actions, the state would have a difficult time in its control and management. It is in this understanding the there is a complementary role between state and Buddhism, out of which religions/Buddhism assist the state in providing teaching and human resource training, and education […]

Buddhist Pagodas – Shelters for Lonely Elderly People and Poor Children

Furthermore, in our country, Buddhism and other religions have been suitable shelters for lonely elderly people and poor children. Elderly people in other countries would go to old age homes (Retirement Homes). Children would take their old aged parents to stay in old age homes. They do not follow the Cambodian way. In Cambodia, a majority of Cambodian people would keep and stay by their parents […]

Some old aged grandmothers, sometimes with no children on whom they can depend because of deaths or hardship in life, would go to the Buddhist monasteries where they would learn Buddhist teachings and for cares […] in rural areas where some children would have had difficulties in their families, Buddhist monasteries also provide them with shelter and food. Some left their secular life with families to become Buddhist monks […] in urban areas, Buddhist monasteries are descent places for male students from countryside to seek lodging and food […] this has traditionally indeed been a facilitation and contribution to state management in the sense of relieving state’s and from-rural-area students’ hardships in coping up with need for shelters and food […]

Higher Seating for Buddhist Monks – Nation, Religion, King

I should bring two things to your attention again. There seems to be a flaw in our seat arrangements. I noticed that we always set up seating for Buddhist monk in same level as those of us. After my instruction, they have raised seating floor for Buddhist monks higher than that for us. This should be a way for us to present our respect to Buddhism […] we also have the necessity to implement our “Nation, Religion, King” motto. In offices and official buildings, there must be all three banners – one for nation, one for religion, and one for HM the King, in addition to HM the King’s portrait. This should remind us all every time that we are under the blessings of and respect the threes – Nation, Religion, and HM the King.

Seating Follows Functions, Not Titles

Another important issue here, I wish to make it clear to the national and international events committee about seating arrangements […] we have provincial, district and communal head of Buddhist monks. Since some of the monks have titles other than their roles and functions, in seating arrangement, there seems to be a trend of confusion on who with what functions and titles sit where […] the confusing point was whether to arrange seating according to titles or functions? We should do it according to functions […]

Together We Keep Peace

I am so grateful for the development efforts made and achievements scored in this pagoda. We are adding something new to our actions for the development of Buddhism. I hope that our Buddhist monks and people will try to keep peace that we have won with tremendous difficulties. Whereas people are facing hardships, Buddhism and other religions would also be suffering the same ill fates. Buddhist monks, as our past lessons have taught, had to run away from their monasteries in fighting since bullets and bombs would not distinguish whom from who. War would not delineate Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, or Christianity from one another. In this understanding, together, we must keep peace for our country./.